Gloria Steinem urges women to reclaim the word 'bitch'

'When somebody calls you a bitch, say thankyou' 

Heather Saul
Saturday 24 October 2015 10:38

Gloria Steinem has some sage advice for women hoping to counter the word ‘bitch’.

The feminist, journalist and political activist decried the double standards of modern society that mean a woman who refuses to be submissive is labelled “a loud black woman or a bitchy white woman”.

The issue of women being branded aggressive, a bitch, or 'bossy' has been raised by Beyonce and Jennifer Lawrence, who both described situations where their assertiveness was received as combativeness in the work place. They both argued women are too often branded emotional or bitchy, forcing them to take more passive roles, while men are praised for commanding conversations.

Steinem has a solution for reducing the efficacy of the word - reclaim it.

She told Cosmopolitan: “The best thing I've ever thought of to say when somebody calls you a bitch is “Thank you.” I mean, it totally disarms them. They don't know what to do.

“Marlo Thomas always used to say that for a man to be called aggressive, he had to take over your business, but for a woman to be called aggressive, she had to only put you on hold. It's just a terrible double standard. We have to call them on it. If you call them on it, it changes people's heads.”

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